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1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance

Activities & Events

After the Gold Rush: A 150-Year History of San Francisco's Mechanics' Institute

Mechanics' Institute Library

"After the Gold Rush" illustrates the history of the Mechanics' Institute and its many contributions to the educational, cultural and economic development of San Francisco.

Documenting the Institute's achievements in promoting business, education and library services, the exhibit includes works by many well-known nineteenth and twentieth century photographers. It also includes special photographs and artifacts on the 1906 earthquake and fire. Special photographs and artifacts on the 1906

"After the Gold Rush" is a permanenet exhibit at the Mechanics' Institute.

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January - December 2006

Self-guided tours:
Mon - Fri from 9 am - 5 pm
Sat from 10 am - 5 pm
Sun from 1 pm - 5 pm

Docent-led tours:
Every Wed at 1 pm

Groups of 10 or more may schedule a tour by phoning (415) 393-0113.


Mechanics' Institute Library
57 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94104


In January of 1906, the Mechanics' Institute and its sister library, the Mercantile Library Association, merged their membership and library collections, bringing the total collection to over 200,000 volumes. The combined collection burned, in April 1906, leaving the Mechanics' Institute with virtually nothing. Within four years the Institute had rebuilt its headquarters and library, illustrating the entrepreneurial spirit of the Trustees. Today the Institute has a membership of 5,000 and a general interest collection of 165,000 volumes. At 150 years old, the Institute is one of the premier historical and service organizations in the City.


General public. Free event.


Inez Shor Cohen, (415) 393-0103

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